Saturday, August 11, 2007

Fifty Is The New Thirty

Someone handed me this topic with the thought that I might have some fun with it. I did have fun, but have probably taken it in a different direction than was intended (to what will probably prove their puzzlement and shame). Next time maybe people will be more careful about those that they share ideas with. On the other hand, maybe someone else has a topic that they would like to see abused. Please feel free to share it.

They tell me these days that fifty is the new thirty and while I would like to believe them, I can't say that I completely buy into the concept. While I will happily concede that people are living longer these days, and if we choose to look at age as a percentage of lifespan compared to a couple of generations ago, the whole thing may have some validity from a numbers standpoint. I would have to say however, that as someone who has been been both thirty and fifty, I don't remember feeling or looking nearly as bad at the earlier age as I did at the latter.

Please don't misunderstand me. I'm very happy (and quite frankly surprised) to be alive and in as good a shape as I am these days considering the abuse that I perpetrated on myself in my youth. Hell, I never thought that I would live much past thirty when I was twenty, thought forty would be in the end when I was thirty, and fifty would be it when I was forty; but now that I am in my fifties I am really starting wonder how my sixties will be. (Did that one confuse you, cause I've read it through a couple of times and I'm still scratching my head?) Maybe if I knew that I was going to make it this far I would have taken greater pains to keep in better shape (nah). Then again, though my hair has gone gray, I still have it (It's better to have traitors than deserters.). My knees give me trouble from time to time, but I have an old sports injury (blah, blah, blah) and haven't helped the situation by forcing them to carry around an extra fifty pounds every day. As for my looks... Well they weren't all that great to begin with and aging is a great excuse for an increase in your ugly factor. Besides, at the age that I am getting to men are not "old and ugly", they are "distinguished and showing experience". (Women have a much tougher standard to live up to, especially in their own minds. I don't envy them and would not trade places on a bet.) Then there's my disposition, and on that there is no argument. It's definitely gotten worse. My willingness to put up with laziness, rudeness, and stupidity is at an all time low; and my lack of tolerance for these behaviours (in anyone but myself of course) tends to become a vocal one with far too much frequency.

I may be willing to give the purveyors of this theory the benefit of the doubt however, if this means that I can still live as if I were in my thirties. It might be nice to be able to eat red meat or a slice of white bread on a more frequent basis without worrying about my blood pressure and cholesterol. I might enjoy having more than two glasses of wine without knowing that I will feel the effects of it for the next two days. I would like to participate in sporting events without a prior purchase of a giant -sized, industrial strength ointment for the pain that will follow. I would like to be able to ... Actually, I would like to say something here about keeping company with members of the opposite sex. I think that I will instead withhold comment (something that I am not well known for doing). And as for my prostrate, I would just like to have a few years more that I didn't have to think about it as if it were a ticking time bomb. My gut feeling however (pun absolutely intended) is that all of the above thoughts will have to remain where they have been, in memories and wishful thinking.

My guess is that in end, somebody somewhere is using all of this to try and tell those of us now in our fifties that we have endless possibilities ahead of us and so much to live for (kinda makes you want to puke doesn't it). This is exactly the kind of "feel-good bullshit" that the world tries to stuff us with as if we were a Thanksgiving turkey, just before showing us the 800 number that we should call to take advantage of a fantastic offer. This kind of sugar-coated natural fertilizer is also supported (when not perpetrated) by our government, in the hope that we will not pay attention to them taking all of the money that we need to do all the things we are being told we can do. It also makes them hope that if enough of us buy into the concept that we are actually younger, we will work another twenty or thirty years and not become a burden on an already over-stressed and nearly bankrupt Social Security System.

But let me ask these bringers of sunshine this question about their new way of calculating age: If fifty is the new thirty, then is thirty the new fifteen, and if that's true should teenagers still be in their mother's wombs? (Oh man, what a sickening thought!). Wait a minute, this might explain why we can never get our kids to move of the house.


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